CS 101 - Fundamentals of Computer Science I

Spring 2013


Course Description

This course introduces the fundamental techniques of algorithm design and program construction using procedural constructs.  Topics will include problem analysis; algorithm design; and implementation and debugging strategies using good programming practices.  The course will cover basic data structures including variables, arrays, strings, records, and pointers; and control structures including decisions, iterations, functions, and file I/O. The course will focus on applications from computer science and engineering using C/C++.




Kochan. Programming in C. Sams Publishing, 3rd Edition, 2005, ISBN 0-672-32666-3.

Learning Outcomes

The basic objectives of this course are to provide the student with enough programming tools and methods to feel comfortable writing C / C++ / C# programs that solve problems encountered in computer science and engineering. The following topics will tentatively be covered:

  • CO1 - Be able to create, compile, and run C programs using a Gnu C/C++ compiler
  • CO2 - Be able to declare variables of various types and write programs that do basic arithmetic operations
  • CO3 - Understand and apply control structures such as conditionals and loops
  • CO4 - Understand and use arrays and vectors
  • CO5 - Understand and be able to write functions
  • CO6 - Understand and be able to define and use structure types
  • CO8 - Understand and be able to use character strings
  • CO9 - Understand and be able to use pointers
  • CO10 - Use C# and Visual Studio to create basic Graphical User Interfaces
  • CO11 - Use C# to produce graphics other than form components
  • CO12 - Use top-down design to decompose complex problems into simpler problems



Your course grade will be determined as follows:

  • Homework (programming assignments): 15% (*)
  • Quizzes (in class): 15%
  • Exams (4 midterms and 1 cumulative final exam, lowest score dropped): 70%

(*) You must demonstrate significant effort on all homework assignments in order to pass the course. The very important Outcome CO12 (Use top-down design to decompose complex problems into simpler problems) cannot be assessed based on exams alone. This will be demonstrated via homework assignments. Failure to demonstrate this outcome on homework assignments will be grounds for failure even with a high exam average.

Grading scale

The grading scale for the course is given below. Please note that this grading scale represents the most stringent criteria the students will have to meet to get a particular grade. Each instructor reserves the right to reduce (i.e. curve) the grade scale based on the final course performance.

Grade Range
4.0 (A) ≥ 90 and < 100
3.5 (B+) ≥ 87 and < 90
3.0 (B) ≥ 80 and < 87
2.5 (C+) ≥ 77 and < 80
2.0 (C) ≥ 70 and < 77
1 (D) ≥ 60 and < 70
0 (F) < 60

Course website

Please check the course web page, http://faculty.ycp.edu/~dhovemey/spring2013/cs101/, regularly for important announcements.

Reading Assignments

Readings from your text book will be assigned throughout the semester. You will find the readings listed in the Course Schedule. You are required to read the scheduled material before coming to class. Reading quizzes will be given at the beginning of most class periods to insure that you read the required material.

Posting and submission of assignments and labs

Assignments and (some) labs will be posted as zip files on the course web page, http://faculty.ycp.edu/~dhovemey/spring2013/cs101/.

Assignments will be submitted using the server https://cs.ycp.edu/marmoset/. You will receive an email containing the username and password you will use for this server.

Some labs will be done online using CloudCoder: https://cs.ycp.edu/cloudcoder/. You will receive an email containing the username and password you will use for CloudCoder.

Homework Policy

Homework problems (programming assignments) will be assigned periodically. Discussing programming assignments with other students is acceptable, and encouraged. However, collaboration must be more than just copying code; you must actively contribute to the collaboration, and you must write and understand all of the code you include in your program. Verbatim copying of someone else's code (including electronic transmission or using code from websites) is forbidden under any circumstances. You must actively contribute to the process of understanding and solving the problem posed in the homework assignment.

When you collaborate with another student, you must add comments to the code you turn in stating

  • who you worked with, and
  • what the nature of your collaboration was

For example, if you worked with Alice Smith, you might add a comment as follows:

// I worked with Alice Smith.  We worked together on
// the loop in the compute_temperatures function.

When you collaborate with other student(s), you must make sure that everyone involved in the collaboration properly acknowledges everyone else who collaborated. In the example above, Alice would need to acknowledge working with you.

Violations of the policy, such as failing to cite collaborators or electronic copying of code, will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs, and could have consequences including receiving a 0 for the assignment, receiving a 0 for the course, and being expelled from the College.


Exams will be closed-book, closed-notes. They will last approximately 60 minutes and will be administered at the beginning of the class period. Exams will include a programming component. The last half of the class may be used for instruction and/or laboratory work. A total of five exams will be administered. The lowest scoring exam will be dropped.

In-class laboratories

Students will work on programs during most class periods. At the end of the class, these will be submitted electronically. Significant effort on the labs must be demonstrated in order to be considered present.

Attendance and Participation

Do not miss class! Since the classes are 2 hours long, you will fall far behind by missing even one. If you do not show significant effort on the lab assignment for the day, or if you are seen doing non-lab activities before finishing a lab, you will be considered absent. The first absence will result in a 1 percentage point deduction from your final grade. The total percentage point deduction for 2 or greater absences will be calculated using the following formula:

2(absences - 1)

where absences is the number of times you were absent. Therefore, with 5 absences (2.5 weeks), you will have a 16 percentage point deduction, which will automatically drop you 1.5 to 2 letter grades. If you have an emergency and cannot attend your section, you may come to another section with permission from the instructor of that section. Always notify the instructor before the class if you have to miss class. It is the student's responsibility to get notes, announcements, and homework assignments from other students or the instructor if a class is missed. An absence will be excused only with written proof of an illness or other emergency.

Use of Personal Technology in the Classroom

While York College recognizes students' need for educational and emergency-related technological devices such as laptops, PDA's, cellular phones, etc., using them unethically or recreationally during class time is never appropriate. The college recognizes and supports faculty members' authority to regulate in their classrooms student use of all electronic devices.

Communication Standards

York College recognizes the importance of effective communication in all disciplines and careers. Therefore, students are expected to competently analyze, synthesize, organize, and articulate course material in papers, examinations and presentations. In addition, students should know and use communication skills current to their field of study, recognize the need for revision as part of their writing process, and employ standard conventions of English usage in both writing and speaking. Students may be asked to further revise assignments that do not demonstrate effective use of these communication skills.